Friday, August 7, 2015

Delta Perspective: Get to work

The other day a commenter on Vox Popoli asked, “I know a lot of what millennials were taught is bullsh*t. I wanna know how to fix it. What do we do?” This answer is geared towards millennials, but is applicable to any man who is just drifting.

Overwhelmingly the response to the question was, “Get to work”. I completely agree. I understand that things are tough in the job market, I know people want people with experience, I understand that life is not fair. Get. To. Work.

Millennials were screwed by their own parents by not telling them it is a bad idea to take on thousands in student loan debt, and indirectly by the economy crashing in 2008 when so many were just seriously entering the work force. Now that that’s out of the way the only way to fix this mess is for you to go to work and make money. Many Millennials are approaching 30 and have no goals, no career plan, and no future besides drifting around.

How do you do it? Show up to work on time and you’ll do better than most of your peers. Stop complaining all of the time about work, and how you are underpaid and need to be promoted. Don’t look for ways to take off or constantly ask off from work. Be willing to at least try to learn everything even if you fail at it. Above all, stop acting like a spoiled teenager who needs to be coddled, hand-held, and carefully caressed throughout your workday or you will have a temper tantrum on the carpet. You are valuable to a company so long as you help them reach their financial goals, not because you are a special, creative snowflake.

How do you get a job, or a better job? In today’s economy there are two ways: 1) you have to show that you can produce revenue for the company, 2) you have to show that you can save the company more money by hiring you than the next person. You need to make this clear on your resume and any interview you have. Then at the interview you need to have a 60 day plan to show you actually thought about what you are going to do. Granted, this doesn’t apply for low paying retail jobs and the like, but if you want one of those jobs which might turn into a career or you can retire on the income if you do it right, it applies.

I still can’t find any good work, what am I going to do? Move. Look at a place where you can make money which in the USA are a few states which are doing well. Since you are in your 20s and likely don’t have wife and kids moving won’t be too bad. Strike out and make a new life for yourself. You’ll make new friends and have new adventures. Don’t want to move? Then look for the most hated jobs with the highest pay you can find.

So many things you think you will be doing when you are young you won't be doing when you are older in regards to career and work. Nobody when young says, "I want to go to work at 5:00 AM in the bitter cold, work on welding pipes for 8-10 hours and then collapse back in bed in exhaustion, not get to go out with my friends again." Everyone wants to be a doctor, lawyer, or something "creative". Ever thought about why those guys who will do those shitty jobs get paid more than the worker at Best Buy, or the guy who makes them coffee every morning as he's commuting to work?

There’s no way to sugarcoat this about it being easy. It isn’t. It’s really hard, exhausting at times and can be extremely stressful as well. But if you can find good work and stick it out for a while it will get easier. At the very least you will pay off your debts, get to save money and then move on to something else better when the opportunity arises, but if you just drift around and complain nothing will get better. You want a girlfriend, you want a nicer car, you want a better place to live? Get to work and earn it.

One final word on this. When I was younger I actually took this advice above and worked my ass off in terrible shifts and some pretty awful jobs with terrible bosses. The one thing I didn’t do well is take care of myself. I didn’t get enough sleep, good food, or exercise and eventually I paid for it. You can’t go down this path and not take care of yourself. After working a 10-12 hours shift and you are dog tired going out with your friends for a beer rather than catching up on sleep and taking it easy will eventually cause you to physically break down. The good news is that in your 20s you can work 50 hour work weeks without much trouble and put in the occasional 60 hour week so long as you get rest. So take care of yourself, but get to work.


JT said...

I encouraged some discouraged millennial friends of mine to move to North Dakota for (very cheap, state subsidized) college and jobs...they arrived a few weeks ago and are reporting literally EVERYWHERE is looking for employees, from beginner to on up. A hard working millennials paradise....something to think about, Other Millennials.

R Devere said...

Too many Millennials got far too many gifts,as children; as their parents competed with other parents to see who could throw the most stuff at their precious little darlings.

Instaed of that sh*t, I gave mine two major gifts: My time and the gift of "poverty".(not that a professional like me is exactly poor!) They wanted something? They earned it!

Now all three are gainfully employed in CAREERS; not just jobs. Best moment for me? When one of mine came back from lunch with a former boss (a job he left voluntarily, for a step up) he said his ex- boss complained that they had to hire three people to take his place!

JACIII said...

By all all means - work your ass off - you will be more content, better off financially, develop some needed self-worth, and gain an idea of what your capabilities really are. If you contract for your work, Vox is spot on, you must resist working yourself to death - you will attempt to do just that. BUT if you are an engineer or have another marketable STEM degree pay attention to the jobs your peers work after graduation.

If your employer has you on salary and demands you live at the office/plant 60hrs while all your classmates are getting similar compensation to you clocking out at 40 hrs you need to jump ship. Don't marry a job working for a company squeezing out its last days in a dyeing industry - you have no future in a company that has no future. If you determine this is what you have stepped into then start looking for a job again just as hard as you did when you didn't have one while building your resume at the sweatshop.. The "sweatshop" mentality employers will promise you the moon and stars, "If you just stick it out you'll go far kid!". Maybe. Or maybe you'll be stuck in an asskissing contest against 30 other gogetters for a promontion that will only materialize if someone dies. Chances are that job will get merged into the responsibilities of another one of your bosses. The difference in quality of life within a trade/profession is often huge from employer to employer.

Your skills have a market. Be aware of that market and leverage yourself into the high end rather than getting trapped in the low end. Career bottom feeders do not live well.

Keef said...

"Now all three are gainfully employed in CAREERS; not just jobs. Best moment for me? When one of mine came back from lunch with a former boss (a job he left voluntarily, for a step up) he said his ex- boss complained that they had to hire three people to take his place!"

Interesting you mention that. Today is my last day with a family owned and run business I've been at for 3.5 years. I start for a startup on Monday. I was introduced to this new startup by a friend of a close friend. I'm 28 btw, so the millennial tag applies to me.

One thing to remember for millennials is that the older we get the more potential power can be derived from your personal network.

I'm pretty nervous about the new gig, it's going to be stressful but my current family run business just doesn't have the upside.this startup has

Unknown said...

The reason why everyone wants Baby Boomers to hurry up and die already: WE ARE WORKING YOU ASSHOLES!!! Usually more hours and (definitely) for less real wages in an environment actively hostile to us.

Yeah yeah, I know. You walked 13 miles to the factory 8 days a week, up-hill both ways. Bite me. Take your "man-up" and "earn it" and shove it up your ass. There are no more factories. There are hardly any more families. The present crisis won't be solved by a bunch of tools who do what they're told and come home and consume pop-culture every night.

If you're white, this country resents you. If you're a man, it hates you. If you're a Christian, it is actively working to destroy everything you love. Don't believe me, then believe the officially appointed interpreters of the Constitution. America as envisioned by the Founders, has failed. It isn't 1956 or even 1986. Get it through your head: it's over. The bad guys won. The only choice is to turn around and fight them.

Seriously, please stop sounding like the grandfather from a poorly written sit-com.

The tone of this article is all wrong, especially for someone trying to increase their status and comfort in this country. It's great advice... for someone living before World War II. Honestly, it reads like on of those "articles" on Yahoo by "CEOs" who are looking for things like "someone who will put the company first." Not to be crude, but fuck that. There simply isn't any job security any long. Companies have no loyalty to their employees, but your boss will smile at you and wish you good luck after you're let go for no reason. Work harder, you'll be rewarded with more work every time. Then your job will be outsourced to India. If there's one thing I've learned, it's that not everyone who smiles at you and knows your first name is your friend.

JACIII is right: develop a set of skills you can market, but jump ship the minute you find something better. I hate for it to be that way, but the situation is analogous to modern dating: always, always, friggin' always be ready to walk.

Work isn't its own reward. Never lose sight of that.

As for the principles behind the article: "Thou art lukewarm. And so...."

the dude said...

Vox, how do you manage your days to achieve your objectives with so many irons in the fire?

Jew613 said...

Some millenials may find that the dirty jobs that have been so looked down on are actually pretty fun and while you won't get rich doing them you will make a good living.

JACIII said...

A dirty worked for oneself beats a clean, air conditioned, cushy gig worked for someone else. Also, the number of folks who can actually make and fix things is declining rapidly. There is opportunity to be had and the following applies always:

If people discover you will work, you will have no shortage of it.

Anonymous said...

Or, maybe the message hasn't been but forcefully enough for you to understand it, yet?

Aeoli Pera said...

The advice for getting jobs here is poor. There are two ways to get a job:

1. Go where the demand is. E.g.Over the road trucking and skilled trades in North Dakota.
2. Know somebody inside the company that can get you the job.

If you aren't already 50% sure you'll get the job or better, don't waste your time applying. Do you play the lottery? If time is money, how is it different to spend hours just to put your indistinguishable resume in a big stack of 500 resumes for the same opening? Spend that time networking, then jump the hoops when you've got an inside scoop on job openings.

justaguy said...

The biggest thing is to have a booming economy. Look at the 6 years after every recession for the last 70 years--the US boomed. This one, with anti-free market policies,--it sucks. There is a tremendous difference between 6 years of maybe 2% (assuming the inflation factor they use to raise it is right) and 4+%. When labor is in demand everyone works. Also, don't bring in 30 million foreign workers to compete with you. I'm sure that in 1980, those people in Russia in their 20s and 30s who weren't part of the elite felt the same way being expressed above. The system was against them. Just remember, you have to love Big Brother if you are going to get to be part of the elite....

Aeoli Pera said...

That was unnecessarily negative. The rest of the article was perfect, IMO. This, for instance: "Show up to work on time and you’ll do better than most of your peers."

Show up, do your job, and learn some fucking Game already. 99th percentile, right there.

Anonymous said...

I'm 27 and I work 50 or more hours every week in a factory. Pretty sweet but I have to work out and stretch on my own time because in two years I've already got sore joints all over my body and struggle with bursitis and parts going numb or asleep really easy. Plus it's dirty.

The factory hired a lot of people this year, a lot of millenials like me too. A lot of them quit or were fired quickly.

Jew613 said...

Ddddd, make sure to take good care of yourself. Diet can do wonders for the joints and numbness I had the same issues but eating a lot of anti inflammatory foods like bananas, and spinach helped me. Plus cold showers are very good for your joints.

Unknown said...

"That ain't workin, that's the way you do it, you play the guitar on the mtv."

Teresa Robert said...

Hello, Delta Man
You have nice blog and I think this is great post about get to work perspective.

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